EDITORIAL: Death far from home is a tragedy
IN THE aftermath of a tragedy like Tuesday's fatal car crash in Marlborough, emergency services are left to piece together the puzzle of not just how and why the accident occurred, but often, who was involved.
In the hours immediately following the accident, sometimes those details can be unclear, as they were with the identity of the German man who died this week.
His address was registered to Hervey Bay, a far cry from his European home. For his family, that may have delayed the discovery of their son's death, while police tried to ascertain the man's true origins.
It's not an uncommon problem, particularly as there have been a number of tourists involved in fatal crashes across the Fraser Coast, including British woman Jade Fox who was killed in a rollover on Fraser Island last year.
For the young man from Germany, who died at the scene, the delay would not have changed the devastating outcome.
But if the crash victim was on life support and their next of kin still unidentified, that confusion could potentially rob a family of the chance to say goodbye.
I cannot imagine anything more heartbreaking. That's why police encourage people to put a contact in their mobile phone under ICE (In Case of Emergency).
Our thoughts are with the family of the German man - pain knows no distance.